Concerned about Allergens?
As a nutrient-rich food, almonds have been enjoyed for centuries by people all around the world. For a small percentage of people (1 to 1.1 percent1) of the American population, peanut and or tree nut allergies can cause a food-induced allergic reaction.
Recognizing the importance of this issue, the Almond Board of California (ABC) has dedicated resources to educating industry and consumers on allergen control. Included in these activities is cooperation with two allergy education groups. The first is Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), a consumer education and advocacy organization. The second is Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP). FARRP is widely recognized as a center of excellence on food allergy and provides training and consultation to food companies globally.
Another valuable resource is the International Nut and Dried Fruit Foundation (INC).
Through the ABC Nutrition Research Committee, research has been approved to study allergen thresholds. This research will help identify what levels are not likely to result in a reaction among sensitive individuals, which will help manufacturers with their internal GMPs and ingredient management.
The Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska’s (UNL), Department of Food Science and Technology, has recently launched a free training webinar for food processors and handlers entitled, “Food Allergy and Safe Nut Processing.” The new webinar can be accessed free-of-charge at: http://ianrhome.unl.edu/treenuts.
1. Sicherer, S.H., Munoz-Furlong, A., Sampson, H.A. (2003). Prevalence of peanut and tree nut allergy in the United States determined by means of a random digit dial telephone survey: A 5-year follow-up study. J. Allergy Clin Immunol, 112(6):1203-1207.